MANY of us are familiar with the saying: "When days are dark, friends are few."
Society perceives "darkness" as a finance-related phenomenon, but this also applies to nonfinancial fortunes.
Most people know how fortune can attract "friends" and "family" to hold one in high esteem. But when one's luck runs out, so do most friends and family.
And I mean this literally.
It is against this backdrop that I commend ANC Youth League president Julius Malema and Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.
You might disagree with these two men politically, but let's admit it, they epitomise the saying: "A friend in need is a friend indeed".
When most people had lost hope in Jacob Zuma after former president Thabo Mbeki fired him as deputy president, Mbalula told the former leader that the ANC Youth League would support Zuma as his successor.
Not only was that brave, but that was how a true friend should b ehave.
When University of the Free State vice chancellor Jonathan Jansen was attacked from all sides , Malema protected him. And when pupils threatened to kill Jub Jub outside court, Malema visited him in prison as a sign of solidarity.
While these acts were unpopular, they demonstrate that a true friend is not one who seeks popularity, but who will support a friend when everyone else has thrown in the towel.
So I am of the view that society needs more friends such as Malema and Mbalula and fewer buddies who come with the standard fly-by-night mindset.
Tebogo Moatshe Ditshego, Kagiso